In a press conference held on Monday, Mayor Bloomberg came in defense of the possibility of a Walmart opening in the city by suggesting New Yorkers be more open-minded to the idea.
...We should not say 'no' to anybody. There is enormous demand for Walmart and their products, and the way they merchandise them and the price point they have...The city should never be in a business of telling companies that we don’t want them. We want anybody that obeys the laws and creates jobs in our city.
Opponents have vehemently protested against the looming possibility and believe that Walmarts in New York would only be destructive towards small businesses already struggling in light of the recession, as well as hurt unions across the city.
Back in February, City Council members discussed the consequences of a Walmart proliferation, with many staunchly objecting. Councilman Charles Barron, who represents the low-income neighborhood of east New York, condemned the chain:
Don't even think about coming into east New York. We're desperate for jobs, but we're not going to take anything. We want jobs with dignity, jobs with integrity, jobs with self-respect.
In the meeting, Council President Christine Quinn criticized Walmart's absence during the meeting and said their refusal to attend only added to her skepticism. Quinn is also currently leading a legal battle against Bloomberg's controversial homeless policy.
While Walmart may be facing harsh criticism from many New Yorkers, an August poll revealed that a surprising 64 percent of voters actually welcomed the idea.
Bronx Senator Ruben Diaz is among supporters and recently cited Walmart's "astronomic sales" success on Black Friday and hoped that the "poor people" in his community would soon be able to take advantage of it.
This past Black Friday, Walmart reportedly had to employ a stun gun to constrain a confrontational customer. In California, a woman surrendered to police after pepper spraying fellow Walmart shoppers on the infamous shopping day.